Portsmouth transfer news: Why more Fratton Park exits could be on the cards, why numbers could be low on day one of pre-season, and why loans will be key next season
During the week we provided part one of our unique insight into Danny Cowley’s summer recruitment drive.
Now, in part one, Jordan Cross delves into what the Blues boss’ thoughts are on more potential Fratton Park exits, with Ellis Harrison linked with both Oxford and Fleetwood; when signings could be announced us explored; while the importance of the loan market for Pompey is revealed.
Here’s the remaining questions we posed Cross and the answers he provided...
Q We know there’s been interest in Ellis Harrison from Oxford and Fleetwood. Does you expect him to leave Fratton Park this summer – and could more contracted players following his through the exit?
I think he's a bankable player, he's got a year left on his contract.
I know he divides supporters but I think he has a value, with Pompey paying £425,000 for him from Ipswich.
Probably not as much as what Marcus Harness or Ronan Curtis (value-wise), but along with one or two others he's one of the players with value to Pompey.
Moving his wages and perhaps getting a fee for him would maybe make sense for Danny.
He's operating in a scenario where the phrase is ‘he can eat what he kills' so he's got his starting point with his budget, £3-3.5m, and if he sells a player he adds to that and it would free up the wages.
Pompey have 14 players contracted to them, that's eating up a lot of that budget at the moment.
So although they're not actively looking to get rid of Ellis, if there's interest and it works for all parties, then these are the sort of deals that might give Pompey and Danny Cowley in particular, some manoeuvrability this summer.
Q Danny Cowley initially said he’d like all new arrivals in before the players report back to training at the end of the month. Is that realistic, given the numbers needed?
There's 14 players contracted but I think it's going to be a window where perhaps things move on later.
Players will become available who aren’t available now next month – and even beyond that until August.
I think it might just be the way that the narrative of this one just happens to be that business will come later.
Let's face it, Pompey aren't at the top table in terms of the budgets in this division.
You've got Ipswich Town, of course; you’ve got Sheffield Wednesday who are blowing people away; Wigan are having a go this season; Shrewsbury are competitive, perhaps not to Pompey's level, but they're in in and around it.
Oxford United’s budget is also increasing, so these are the ones at the top end at the moment.
Pompey fit around that pack somewhere but might have to sit behind two or three teams who are going to pay the big bucks at League One level, which means Pompey might have to wait a little.
So yeah, I think there'll be a few gaps when they come back from pre-season training - but the league is not won in June.
I know every manager would like everyone back before pre-season but I don’t think that will happen at Pompey.
Do you anticipate loans playing a key role in Danny Cowley's recruitment?Absolutely, and I've asked Danny about this.
He talked in a fair amount of detail of the importance of loans - something we've looked at already in The News with young players he developed.
Emile Smith Rowe, for example, who came in at Huddersfield on loan from Arsenal, Jordan Walker as well at Lincoln, and 2-3 others.
He wants players who can really lift the attitude of the squad perhaps, which is the way he looks at it. So players coming in from proven clubs or with good pedigree.
He uses the term champions, they want champions in.
Not necessarily with trophies in the cabinet, but mind sets that can really give an indication to the young players like Liam Vincent who has already come in from Bromley and these other young kids, probably of a similar age they’ll look to recruit, what they can aspire to.
So, yeah, it's gong to be a bit part.
Certainly, you don’t have to be a genius to know reduced budgets means loans are going to play their part.
And probably why a lot of the business might come later in the window.